By Meredith Kaplan Burns on February 19, 2015

Quickest pass in NHRA history.
Top qualifying position.
Event win.
And all without a sponsor.

That about sums up the accomplishments of the Alan Johnson Racing (AJR) team earlier this month at the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

But the full story dates back to the conclusion of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season in November, when AJR was feeling pretty confident after completing another strong year with drivers Shawn Langdon, who finished fourth in Top Fuel, and Khalid alBalooshi, who finished eighth. Driving for the team, Langdon had won the Top Fuel...

Continue reading A Racer’s Perseverance »
By Bill Sessa on February 6, 2015

The Schmidt family—Al, his wife Joelle and their son Greg—relies largely on their reputation, rather than a substantial advertising budget, to promote Paradigm Automotive & Performance of Brainerd, Minnesota. Friends telling friends creates repeat business, they believe.

They do, however, use social media to stay in touch with those customers and to promote sales. “We run specials on Facebook that we can target to specific people,” said Greg Schmidt, who manages the store’s social media campaigns.

By buying sponsored ads based on keywords, “we can advertise to men, women, certain age groups,” he said, explaining features that can be highly selective, such as targeting specific niches of road racers or drag racers,...

By Dan Schechner on January 30, 2015

* Transmitting Excellence: During a week-long jaunt to the UK for last month’s annual Autosport International Show, PRI’s Francisque Savinien and I paid a visit to one of the world’s foremost motorsports transmission and drivetrain technology developers, Xtrac. Established in 1984 and headquartered in Thatcham, England, the company just recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Through the years, Xtrac has produced more than 1000 different gearbox designs for scores of championship-winning vehicles. And today, some 40 percent of its racing business is in sports cars for names like Audi, Toyota, McLaren and others. But...

By John Kilroy on January 22, 2015

One of the great things about the culture of auto racing is that the past is so respected. Throughout the U.S. and the world, there is hallowed ground in racing not because of a big current event, but because of the accumulation of everything that came before. I remember vividly the last race at the Agajanian family’s Ascot Park, the storied half-mile dirt track in Southern California. When the 1990 Turkey Night was over (won by Stan Fox in Steve Lewis’ number 9 midget), fans walked onto the track with jars and scooped the dirt into them reverently. You could imagine the decades of racing thrills these fans experienced there, and all the great racers they saw at their best. There was going to be a hole in their lives after this grand...

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